Receiving a bouquet of tulips in the dead of winter is so unexpected. What a delight! They have become one of our biggest sellers in the last month – probably because we have had such a severe winter here in Southern Ontario. Our studio is close to the Niagara Region were tulip greenhouses are abundant, so not only are we able to offer tulips during the off season at a very reasonable price (no Holland import prices here), but they are locally grown, supporting families in our own backyard.
The greenhouse grown tulips season in Ontario has been extended over the years spanning from October to the end of May. Most of our tulips growers here pride themselves on soil-grown tulips as opposed to the hydroponic method commonly used in Holland and other countries. Soil grown tulips generally have longer, sturdier stems and have a much lower likelihood of disease than their hydroponic counterpart.
When you are choosing a bouquet of tulips to take home, there are a few things that you should look for. Mainly, you want to choose blooms that are tightly closed and are showing very little colour. Tulips continue to grow after they have been cut – did you know that they are the only flower that does that? Over the course of a few days, the stem will grow longer, usually resulting in at least an extra 5-6 inches. The flower head will also double in size and the colour will develop. Be prepared to switch vases several times to accommodate their new size.
Tulips are a pretty crazy flower from a design point of view. They have a mind of their own, cascading one way in the morning and then standing straight as soldiers by mid afternoon. You cannot control a tulip – just enjoy their randomness.
One other piece of advice – tulips drink a lot of water during their developing period. It is not uncharacteristic for them to drink a vase completely dry during the night, so be sure to top things up before you go to bed!